The Importance of Reputation in Shakespeare's Othello Essay

671 Words Apr 4th, 2006 3 Pages
Reputation is very important to Shakespeare, and he shows that very clearly in "Othello: The Moor of Venice". Iago's reputation as an honest man, Othello's reputation as a just hero, Cassio's changing reputation throughout the play, and Desdemona's reputation play a key role in the outcome of the play.

Throughout the play, Iago is thought to be honest and a good advisor. We often see "…honest Iago… ", or in Othello's words "…this fellow's of exceeding honesty… ". None of the characters in the play knows what Iago is really up to, and they blindly trust him and accept his advice.
Thanks to his reputation, he manipulates Othello's feelings and reasoning, destroys Cassio's reputation, and also manages to get Othello to kill Desdemona.
…show more content…
Cassio lost Othello's trust, and this actually made it possible for Iago to try to let it look like he and Desdemona are "making the beast with two backs". Cassio, -after following Iago's advice-, tries to get back his military title and Othello's trust through Desdemona, but this makes the situation even worse.

Desdemona is considered a sincere, kind, -and above all-, an honest wife and woman in general. She is like a model of the perfect woman of that time. We can find proof in her honesty when she and Emilia are talking about infidelity, and Desdemona's words are "Beshrew me, if I would do such a wrong for the whole world. ".
She is very honest and sincere, and that makes her naïve and vulnerable. When she is first accused by Othello, she does not realize the extent of Othello's jealousy, and instead of explaining thoroughly to him what has happened, she expects Othello to get to the right track by himself. Instead of explaining to Othello that she has lost it, she just tries to change the topic, and later links Othello's behavior to "…something, sure of state,… …hath puddle his clear spirit…" .
Desdemona is the last frontier between Iago and Othello, and Iago puts everything at stake to ruin her reputation.

In this play, reputation is regarded as the most valuable part of a
Open Document